By Ian Liberman
INFERNO OF ROCK NEWS
Prince died on April 21, 2016. Although his songs don’t fall under the category of hard rock/metal, his guitar playing (particularly on the Purple Rain soundtrack) would have easily fit within the genre. Perhaps that is why the tributes from metal heroes have been pouring in since his passing, including: Ozzy Osbourne, Slash, Nikki Sixx, Tom Morello, Corey Taylor and more.
Nickelback – The band that critics love to hate
Why do critics and large groups of rock listeners hate Nickelback? Salli Antonen (of the University of Eastern Finland) comments on this topic in her paper on the critics of the band. She found that that the critics decided that the popularity of Nickelback’s tunes demonstrated a lack of authenticity due to a formulation of songs, which was geared for the charts, rather than as an expression of the band. However, Antonen offers another perspective…“by nullifying Nickelback’s authenticity, critics are actually authenticating themselves.” Click here to read Antonen’s article in its entirety.
And in this corner…
The 2016 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony had a lot of bad feelings (as usual). Personally speaking, I think that Gene Simmons was right on the mark when he questioned whether NWA should be have inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a hip hop group. However, Simmons was wrong about hip hop’s artistic merit; it is creative and durable. Ice Cube said that rock is an attitude, not a genre, but he is also totally wrong. Rock, metal, hard rock, alternative rock are all integrated genres that are part of the same family, but hip hop doesn’t function in the same way. It has no “rock spirit,” because there is no such thing. Aside from the Simmons/NWA tension, Steve Miller let it be known that he was treated like crap by the RRHOF, and Ritchie Blackmore was discouraged from showing up and playing with the original incarnation of Deep Purple.
TRENDS / OPINIONS
The “Metal-tation” Movement
When I was enrolled in York University, in the ’70s, I registered for a comparative religion course that that was rooted in Zen Buddhism. We had a teacher who indulged us all in the process of Zen meditation and the physical art or, as they liked to label it, hatha yoga. I knew that that the meditation center around the corner would charge me hundreds of dollars to give me a mantra, and extend the spiritual learning for weeks, while I really only wanted some legitimate info on meditation and stress relief. I got that info from the coolest teacher that I ever had. He demonstrated how breathing, and any word, could be the key to spirituality without the supernatural. This attitude would once again rear its scientific head again in the ’90s under the name of “mindfulness.”
There are two major forces in popular rock culture (meditation and yoga) that are ubiquitous throughout North America: Rage Yoga and Black Yoga. They may appear, on the surface, to be overbearing or immature, but they are actually highly enjoyable methods to reach “nirvana” while listening to Nirvana.
Rage yoga originated in a pub in Calgary, Canada, where the creator (Lindsay Istace) decided to liven up a particular type of Vinyasa Yoga with metal music, beer and swear words as mantras. The Pied Piper of Yoga attracted many to her web-based cerebral enlightenment, which inspired a Kickstarter campaign to make these classes available everywhere. The soundtrack to these classes varies from Metallica to Black Sabbath.
Black Yoga is a movement that integrates dark, heavy metal with Vinyasa movements and meditation. In the U.S., the musicians from the band Black Yoga are members of the movement. They curate metal and industrial music sets to coordinate with the meditation and yoga.
Their goal is to help people with drug addictions, mental illnesses, family problems and relationships through support and yoga. As they say…“you cannot appreciate the light until you understand the darkness.”
The first Black Yoga class started off in urban Pittsburgh, PA. The movement is now spreading out throughout the U.S. Click here for more information about Black Yoga.
For those of you who already practice meditation, and want to delve into the “dark side,” get a new mantra and a set of curated metal for mindfulness, you can use streaming services Spotify or Slacker and choose your own set. Apple also offers Yoga for Metal Sets. I personally meditate to Metallica and the Beatles, and my mantra is really devilish. \m/
INFERNO OF ROCK TRIVIA QUESTIONS:
May-2016 Trivia Questions
- Which 2011 Academy Award Winner for Best Actor loves drumming to metal music since his last movie, which included Pantera, Metallica and Mastodon?
- Who pilots the Ed Force One?
- Led Zeppelin, Korn, and Metallica are the favourite bands of which pop artist:
- Taylor Swift
- Bruno Mars
- Justin Bieber
- What is the common thread between Bad Company and Led Zeppelin?
ANSWERS TO APRIL’S TRIVIA QUESTIONS
 What was the highest-selling album in the last twenty-five years? Metallica’s Black album
 What Hammer Films horror actor had a successful metal music career until his death in 2015? Christopher Lee
 Which late night comedy talk show marked the first television appearance by The Who in North America? The Smothers Brothers Show in 1967.
 Disturbed’s video for “Land of Confusion” was animated by a famous artist. Who was he or she? Todd McFarlane
 Who was the famous artist that created the album cover for Emerson, Lake and Palmer’s Brain Salad Surgery?
A. Keith Thompson
B . R. Giger
NOTE: Answers to May trivia questions will appear in the June Inferno of Rock Report. If you think that you know the answers, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may just win something pretty cool!
Next month, I will discuss the viability of the rock collectible business, and delve into whether metalheads have superior intelligence.